The more I study ecology, the more I need to study history. Everything from the extinction of the paleolithic megafauna through the grenshorizont of peatland bog studies (shift in peat formation two to three thousand years ago as the midwest became wetter and cooler) to the presence or absence of bufalo (Bison bison bison) in the Arid West....Ecology is paleoecology, which is forensic and contingent on largely unknowable past events. But without that past the changing movie of life is only a single strobe, an event, a stained glass window that we can look at but now through. This perspective is important for science, but equally important for public policy. We can't protect what we've already forgotten.
Below is a partial list of early explorers and colonists of the American Southwest, especially New Mexico, which has a 500+ year written history. We desperately need an ecological historian to compile these original observations, translate and condense, collate, draw conclusions, and eventually inbed it all in a google earth kml layer, like the Mannahata project.
This is a New Mexico centric list, prepared with much help from to William Goetzmann http://www.nps.gov/history/history/categrs/explr/biblio-g2.htm and Ruth Marie Colville, "La Vereda: A Trail through Time."
1537 Cabeza de Baca seven year trek from Texas to Sea of Cortez, fording the Rio Grande "breast high".
Journal: unreliable "recounting"
Book: Cyclone Covey, ed. And trans., Cabeza de Vaca's Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America, Univ. of NM Press, Albuquerque, NM, 1993.
1540 Francisco Coronado two years exploring Rio Grande Valley as far north as Taos, east to Kansas, west [in]to the Grand Canyon.
Book: Coronado, Knight of Pueblo and Plains, Univ. NM Press, by Herbert E. Bolton, Albuquerque, NM, 1964
Book:[?]Pedro de Castañeda, The Journey of Coronado, repr., Dover, San Francisco, 1990,
1580 Rodrigues expedition: Fray Augustin Rodrigues and Captain Francisco Chamuscada. Rio Grande valley east to Pecos River
1582 Espejo party rescue mission: Antonio Espejo went east beyond the Manzano Mountains, west to ZUni and Hopi, as far as Flagstaff, then back home along the Pecos.
Journal: Diego Perez de Lujan
1590 Gaspar Castano de Sosa illegal colonization: went up the Pecos river to Pecos Pueblo
Journal: Castano de Sosa.
Book: "A Colony on the Move" by Albert Schroeder and Dan Matson.
1598 Don Juan de Onate colonization, settled at head of Espanola Valley.
1776 Escalante Expedition from Santa Fe, through SW Colorado, SE Utah, and NE Arizona.
Book: Bolton, Pageant in the Wilderness: The Story of Escalante's Expedition to the Interior Basin, 1776, Univ. of Utah,Salt Lake City, Utah, 1950,
1806 Pike Expedition: Zebulon Pike
Journal: "The expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to headwaters of the Mississippi River, through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, during the years 1805-6-7
Book: Donald Jackson, ed., The Journals of Zebulon Montgomery Pike With Letters and Related Documents, U. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1966.
Book:Elliott Coues, The Expeditions of Zebulon Montygomery Pike, 2 vols., Dover, NY, 1987.
1821 Fowler Adventure to eh Sources of the Rio Grande
Jounral: Cous, E. (editor) 1965 The Journal of Jacob Fowler: Narrating an Adventure From Arkansas Through the Indian Territory, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, to the Sources of the Rio Grande Del Norte, 1821-1822. Ross & Haines, Inc., Minneapolis, MN.
1846 Kearny-Emory expedition. US Mexico Boundary Survey. Lieutenant W.H. Emory. Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila rivers
Book: Ross Calvin, ed., Lieutenant Emory Reports: A Reprint of Lieutenant W.H. Emory's Notes of a Military Reconnaissance, U. of NM Press, Albuquerque, NM, 1951.
Book: William H. Emory, Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, 3 vols., 34th Cong. 1st Sess. H. Exec. Doc. 135, Serial 861-63, Washington, D.C., 1857-59, and repr. William H. Goetzmann, ed, 3 vols., TSHA, Austin, TX, 1997.
Book: John Russell Bartlett, Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora and Chihuahua, Connected With the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission During the Years 1850, '51, '52 and '53,, 2 vols., Appleton, NY, 1854, repr., 2 vols., Rio Grande Press, Chicago, IL, 1965.
Book: Dawn Hall, ed., Drawing the Borderline: Artist-Explorers and the U.S.-Mexico Boundary Survey, The Albuerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM, 1996, P.B.
1849 Washington Expedition to make peace or prosecute a war with the Navajo
Book: Navajo Expedition: Journal of a Military Reconnaissance from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Navvaho Country Made in 1849 by James H. Simpson, Durwood Ball, Frank McNitt
see Herbert E. Bolton, Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542-1706, Scribner, NY, 1916, repr. Barnes & Noble, 1995, ...
David Weber, The Taos Trappers, the Fur Trade in the Far Southwest, 1540-1846, U. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1982.
Ralph P. Bieber, ed., Exploring Southwestern Trails, 1846-1854, Clark, Glendale, CA, 1938, William H. Emory,